7th Grade Serves
7th Grade Serves
Seventh Grade Students Serve
Immanuel Students Serving in Saint Louis
By Deaconess Student Lisa Swayne
Seventh grade teacher Ellen Prahlow has been taking her class on annual mission trips to St. Louis since 2016. The theme for that year was “Look not to your own interest, but to the interest of others” (Philippians 2:4) and Prahlow knew it was the perfect time to launch this program.
“My idea is that, as Christians, we are called to serve our fellow man. And while we do a million things at Immanuel, the kids aren’t always aware.” For example, her students drop off food for the pantry, but they never see where the food ends up or who receives it. In Saint Louis, they see the results of their service. And, Prahlow says, “It gets them out of their affluent bubble in Valparaiso and lets them see another area of the United States. Prahlow’s hope is that her students learn to feel comfortable responding to calls to serve and continue to answer those calls as adults.
Right now, the seventh grade class is excited for their upcoming trip in April, 2021. In preparation, they spend time in class talking about issues like poverty, homelessness, and privilege. The students stay at a church very close to the site of the Ferguson riots in Missouri and have watched as that church continues to minister to that community.
The most expensive part of the trip is transportation. The seventh-grade class is doing a fundraiser for their April trip, filling 100 envelopes with donations. If every envelope is filled – both small and large donations are welcome – they will raise the $5000 needed for the trip. For every $500 raised, the class will organize a local service project. They have already worked on the grounds at Immanuel for a Fall clean-up. If you’re interested in supporting this mission trip, you can find the envelopes and more information about the trip at the desk in the gathering space.
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At Immanuel, we believe that you can be transformed by experiencing life with God in Christ. Our mission is to equip people for this kind of transformation by connecting people with Christ in a life of worship, learning, and service, whether you are exploring Christianity for the first time or grew up attending church.